Sakaṭa, Mukuṭa & Gajakeśari Yoga
Jupiter is the suraguru, the priest of the gods, the giver of light and the supreme preceptor. It is he who removes the darkness of ignorance and ushers in the light of knowledge. Without the blessings of Guru, the mind is forever enshrouded in darkness, clouded by ignorance, until Jupiter illuminates it and grants wisdom. He represents Divinity in the horoscope and is the significator for dhī, wisdom and knowledge and the karaka for the 2nd (wealth, family and vāk), 5th (intelligence, scholarship, devotion, mantra, children, power), 9th (father, teacher, superior, dharma, temples, priests) and 11th (gains, rewards, friends, social circle) houses.
Mana or the mind is capable of both good and bad thoughts. Thoughts are the seeds (beeja) for future actions; therefore, protection of the mind is extremely necessary. Good thoughts lead to good actions for which the blessings of Jupiter ought to be invoked so that he fills the mind with good thoughts at all times illuminating it with the Sun’s light, so that one is always guided by dharma, conscience and the higher perceptive power which elevates one above gloom and darkness. Perhaps for this very reason, the Rig Veda has saluted the great Jupiter, telling us to adore him and worship him during our prayers, rites and rituals, so that he may bestow unending treasures, happiness and strength and give shape to all our desires and hopes.
anāmyoja ā cake||
Rig Veda, Mandala 3, Sukta 62, Meter 5
“Adore the noble and pure Bṛhaspati during sacrifices, with your hymns. May he grant unsurpassable strength in the pursuit of achieving knowledge”. So Bṛhaspati, the respected and the adorable One; the One who gives form to the world, the great and the omni form One, should be invoked and worshipped at all times. (Also, refer to Meters 4 and 6 of the above Sukta).
The lagna represents the dhī and is fundamental to the functioning of the Supreme Intelligence while the Moon represents the mana. The nature of Jupiter’s association with the lagna and the Moon is therefore crucial to any jātaka, as this will determine the functioning and the quality of the dhī in the jātaka’s life, while the Moon will show the objective or the goal towards which the dhī is directed. Jupiter is thus a vital link to the lagna and the Moon, and the relationship between the three for certain important yogas.
Śakaṭa and Gajakeśarī yogas are the expression of Jupiter’s association with the lagna and the Moon. Gajakesari describes the effects of Jupiter’s placement in a kendra from the lagna and the chandra lagna, while sakata yoga describes the placemnet of Jupiter in a dusthana from the Moon. Parasara mentions Gajakeśarī yoga in the chapter on Vividhayogādhyāya which commences with śubha and aśubha yogas. These yogas focus on describing the benefic influences surrounding the lagna, and Gajakesari is one such subha yoga, indicating a strong lagna. Lagna includes both udaya lagna and chandra lagna, hence Gajakesari examines Jupiter’s placement from both these points. Since the mind gives direction to the dhi, Jupiter’s placement from chandra lagna has been given a special importance, and has circulated a common anomaly about Gajakesari being a yoga being merely about Jupiter’s placememt from the Moon.
केन्द्रे देवगुरौ लग्नाच्चन्द्राद्दा शुभदॄग्युते
नीचास्तारिगॄहैर्होन योगोऽयं गजकेसरी।
kendre devagurau lagnāccandrāddā śubhadègyute
nīcāstārigṛhaīrhone yogo’yaà gajakesarī|
Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāśtra, Vividhayogādhyāya, Sh. 3
Parāśara states, that when Jupiter is in a kendra from either the lagna or from the Moon, aspected or conjunct a benefic, provided it is not debilitated, combust or in an inimical sign, it forms a Gajakeśarī yoga. This yoga is mentioned in the Vividhayogādhyāya or the chapter on various yogas, as one of the subha yogas influencing the lagna. There are certain qualificaions to such an angular placement of Jupiter. The first qualification is that such a Jupiter should be aspected or conjunct a benefic. The question arises as to whether Parasara is speaking of natural or fucntional benefics, and the answer is very clearly given in Chapter VII, Shloka 116 of Jātaka Pārijāta:
केन्द्रस्थिते देवगुरौ मृगाङकात् योगस्तदाहुर्गजकेशरीति।
इष्टे सितार्येन्दुसुतै शशाङ्के नीचास्तहीनैगर्जकेशरी स्यात्॥
kendrasthite devagurau mṛgāṅakāt yogastadāhurgajakeśarīti|
iṣṭe sitāryendusutai śaśāṅke nīcāstahīnaigarjakeśarī syāt||
Jātaka Pārijāta, Saptamodhyāya, Sh. 116
In the Kalachakra, Jupiter and Moon are posited opposite each other. The deity for the northern direction, where the Moon is placed, is Kubera, the god of wealth. The uniqueness of Kubera is that his vāhana is Nara, or man. This symbolizes the fact that man is enslaved by his indriyas and is subject to the greed for the material world, with Kubera depicting the epitome of materiality. The Moon therefore represents not only the narayoni but the mind, which is forever susceptible to surrender to the dark side. The only one who can rescue man, and by corollary the mind, from this material bondage is Jupiter.
1.1.1 The Lokas
Parasara writes, that at the end of the previous creation, the Supreme Being arose from his cosmic sleep to perceive the universe as void. Desirous of creation, the imperceptible Narayana delved into the deep ocean upon which he was supine, as Varaha or the Divine Boar, to raise the earth upon His hallowed tusks. Thus Prakriti emanated from Purusha and Prithvi was born as the floating mass of earth on the moving body of water that is Narayana. Above the sphere of the earth, Vishnu created the spheres of the sky, the planets, the gods, the sages, and that of the Supreme Spirit Himself. In this manner, the great Hari fashioned the space within the Cosmic Egg or the Brahmanda, into seven spheres or the seven lokas. These seven lokas are the Bhu, Bhuva, Svaha, Maha, Jana, Tapa and Satya lokas. The Bhu, Bhuva and Svaha lokas are the spheres of the earth, sky and the planets, while the remaining four lokas, the Maha, Jana, Tapa and the Satya lokas are the spheres of the sages. The Bhu loka is the sphere of prithvi or the earth, the sky above it is the Bhuva loka and the planetary system situated even above that is the Svaha loka. The Svaha loka begins with the Sun and the Moon, followed by Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter with the farthest planet being Saturn. Beyond Saturn are the Saptarshis and the Dhruva, which marks the end of the Svaha loka. Beyond Dhruva is Maha loka, the sphere of karma, followed by Jana loka, the sphere of gyana or knowledge, inhabited by the sages or the rishis. Beyond lies Tapa loka, the sphere of penance, inhabited by ascetics and finally Satya loka, the sphere of eternal truth, wherein there is neither birth nor death and is the abode of the Brahman. The first three spheres are transient and the latter three more enduring, with Maha loka occupying a more transitional position between the two zones of impermanence and durability.
1.1.2 The Lokas in the Horoscope
In a horoscope, the bhavas between the seventh and the first houses represent these seven lokas in microcosm. Similarly the seven chakras of the human body are mapped on these seven planes, as are the seven planets. Together they map the journey of the soul as it traverses from the point of Eternal Truth to be reborn on this earth due to its karmas, by overlapping three planes of existence in a triptych, from the divine to the human. The first is the divine plane composed of the different lokas, the second is the celestial plane representing the planets and the third is the plane of the chakras within the physical body of man.
The 7th house represents Bhu loka (earth) or Mrityu loka, as it is the source of all desires, which causes rebirth, and entraps the soul in bondage in this earthly sphere. Bhu loka is characterised by violence and fighting and is ruled by Mars and represents the Mooladhara Chakra of the human body. The 8th house represents the Bhuva loka (sky), ruled by Sun corresponding with the Swadishthana Chakra. The 8th house in the natural horoscope is the house of longevity and the Sun as the natural karaka for health and the body, rules this loka. The 8th house is also the 2nd from the 7th and hence the house of sustenance for Bhu loka. The lordship of the Sun over this domain ensures that the people are not subjected to poverty. The 9th house is the Svaha loka (planetary system) the realm of the gods and thus a domain of unending pleasure. This loka is therefore ruled by Venus and overlaps with the Manipur Chakra. The 10th house is Maha loka, the sphere of karma and is ruled by Mercury, the karaka for trade and commerce and is the seat of the heart represented by the Anahata Chakra. Maha loka is a crucial point in the journey of the soul, as the karma executed would determine whether the soul would rise up to the higher lokas or digress towards another cycle of rebirth. The 11th house is the domain of the maharishis, and represents gyan or knowledge. It is ruled by the Moon and houses the Vishuddha Chakra. The 12th house is the house of penance and is the realm of yogis and ascetics and is the seat of the Agya Chakra. It is but natural that the ruling planet for this house is the great tapasvi, Saturn. The final goal, or the paramampadam is the 1st house, which is the Satya loka, ruled by Jupiter, the abode of Eternal Truth which lies beyond life and death and where only the thousand petals of the Sahasrar Chakra blooms. In this Sahasrar Chakra, the soul merges with the Brahman sitting within and escapes the bondage of life and death. The 1st house is therefore the satya peetha in the horoscope, the only Truth.
With the birth in the 7th house in Bhu loka, the soul enjoys the material pleasures of life as depicted by the 8th (Bhuva loka) and 9th (Svaha loka) houses. Then depending upon his karma in the 10th house (Maha loka) he progresses towards moksha or is reborn. Once he moves towards the higher lokas, the first step towards moksha is siddhi in the 11th house (Jana loka), i.e. gyana marga which would assist in his self-realization. Once this is achieved it is followed by severe tapasya in the 12th house (Tapa loka), which will enable the final emancipation whereby the soul would merge with the Paramatma in the Satya loka, or the 1st house.
The bhavas in the horoscope as representing the Lokas form the basis of certain yogas, depending on their natural karakas. One can illustrate this with the example of Tapasvi Yoga. Tapa loka is situated in the 12th house of the horoscope, denoting severe penance and asceticism, the penultimate stage of achieving moksha. The karakas for the 12th house are Saturn, Venus and Ketu. Saturn represents penance and severity, Venus represents the bed (pleasures/sleep) and Ketu represents moksha. These three planets are also the karakas for other houses, such as Saturn for the 6th and the 8th, Venus for the 7th and the 4th and Ketu for the 4th, but the common factor between these three planets is their karakatwa of the 12th house. So when Saturn, Venus and Ketu are together they will speak a common language that binds them together and that is the language of the 12th house, Tapa loka. Therefore whenever Saturn, Venus and Ketu associate with each other in a horoscope, Tapasvi yoga is formed, indicating the qualities of a yogi or a tapasvi in the native. The condition is that all the three planets must associate with each other. If only Venus and Ketu combine, the yoga misses the severe tapas of Saturn, yet the person will be spiritual. If Venus and Saturn associate, then the tapasya is tainted by desire, lacking the pure moksha aspect of Ketu. If Saturn and Ketu combine, it denotes a fraud in the absence of the passionate yet benefic influence of Venus. Tapasvi yoga when occurring in the Navamsa is significant, as it will ensure that the tapasya is co-related to dharma or will yield dharma and is not self-motivated, for only then is the tapasya true and directed towards the path of enlightenment and moksha.1.1.1 Yogas in the Lokas
1.1.2 Gajakeśarī Yoga
Gajakeśarī Yoga is the divine association of the Moon with Jupiter. Moon is the ruler of Jana loka, the place for the achievement of siddhi and hence Shiva’s domain. Satya loka ruled by Jupiter is Vishnu’s abode, the goal of all actions. Jupiter representing Vishnu and the Moon representing Shiva indicates that Gajakeśarī yoga is nothing but the expression of the relationship between Vishnu and Shiva, the yoking of gyana and satya. As Hari-Hara they represent the very foundation of jyotish and is the cause of all existence. Conversely, Moon is Krishna and Jupiter is Sadashiva, showing the interchangeability of Vishnu and Shiva as Moon and Jupiter and Jupiter and Moon. Gajakesari yoga depicts that Shiva is Vishnu and Vishnu, Shiva, in a constant process whereby one merges with the other and become one and the same. Shiva and Vishnu as Hari-Hara are but an aspect of the Paramatma, and Shiva therefore is always the beloved of Narayana (Narayanapriya), while Vishnu is adored by Shiva in return.
Jaimini has observed that only two planets give lasting fame, Jupiter and the Moon. Moon gives lokapriyata or popularity and Jupiter gives perfect knowledge and hence Shiva and Vishnu are the most popular deities worshipped across the Hindu population. Moon is the karaka for the 2nd and the 4th houses, and Jupiter for the 2nd, 5th and 9th houses. The common karakatwa for the two planets is the 2nd house, the house of preservation and sustenance. Hence worshipping the Balagopal, as a symbol of the ‘growing child’ in the act of ‘eating’ will nurture the 2nd house and hence stoke the Gajakeśarī yoga permanently. Worshipping the Balgopal with the mantra,
बाल मुकुन्दं मनसा स्मरामि
bāla mukundaṁ manasā smarāmi
will remove the sins of ten births.
Results of the Yoga
Parasara states that Gajakesari yoga makes one full of tejas, intelligent, wealthy, talented and the beloved of kings:
गजकेशरी सञ्जतस्तेजस्वी धनवान् भवेत्
मेधाबी गुणसम्पन्नो राजप्रियकर नरः।
bṛṣabhaṁ carṣaṇīnām viśvarūpam adābhyam | bṛhaspatim vareiṇyam ||
gajakeiśarī sañjatastejasvī dhanavān bhavet
medhābī guṇasampanno rājapriyakara naraḥ|
Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāśtra, Vividhayogādhyāya, Sh. 4
The full effects of the yoga is of course subject to the nature of conjunctions, aspects and other astrological parameters of the jataka,including the house in which the yoga occurrs. The examination of a few charts can illuminate the functioning of the yoga.
Chart 1: Śrī Ramachandra
Rama was born in Cancer lagna Pushya nakshatra, with a perfect Gajakeśarī yoga forming in the lagna. Jupiter is both in lagna and Chandra lagna itself and conjunct a benefic. It is exalted in Cancer and conjunct Moon in its own house. The conjunction of Jupiter with both lagna and Chandra lagna endowed Rama with all the attributes of Gajakeśarī yoga.
He achieved undying fame by worshipping Shiva and established the Shiva temple at Rameswaram, renowned as one of the dwadas jyotirlingas. He did this immediately prior to advancing to Lanka to conquer Ravana and in fact prayed to Shiva so that he may succeed in the battle. This aspect of Rama worshipping Shiva portrays the parivartana or exchange between Jupiter and Moon, Shiva and Vishnu. Rama as the divine incarnation of Vishnu is a spark of the Lord himself, and when in this form, He worships Shiva, while Shiva always worships Vishnu. In this way the relationship and exchange between Jupiter and Moon is established.
Chart 2: Adolf Hitler
Jupiter is in Chandra lagna, conjunct a benefic and in his own house, fulfilling the conditions of a Gajakeśarī Yoga. He had all the attributes of one born under this yoga. He was intelligent, wealthy, full of fire, talented and well connected with kings and government dignitaries and indeed he was famous, but if Rama was revered for his Supreme Divinity, Hitler was renowned to be the embodiment of evil. The Gajakeśarī Yoga in the case of Hitler occurs in the third house. This made the dhī focus towards undesirable directions, in this case, towards fighting and war. Also, this is Jupiter’s marana karaka sthana, with the Moon eclipsed by Ketu. So the karakas for both dhi and the mana are under affliction.
Chart 3: Anonymous 1
In Chart 3, Jupiter is placed 10th from Chandra lagna and is conjunct two benefics fulfilling the conditions of Gajakeśarī Yoga. However, it is once again placed in a trika house, in this instance in the 6th house. The native is exceptionally intelligent and talented, was very wealthy at one point of time, having achieved great heights in his profession and was well connected with government officials. However the placement in the 6th house, made him direct all his energies and his entire dhī shakti towards fighting legal battles and in indulging in various conflicts with a host of people. Subsequently, he lost his financial position and the high status that he once enjoyed in society and is now engaged solely in fighting litigation. So this placement of the Jupiter has actually nullified the effects of the yoga.
Chart 4: Achyuta Dasa
Sri Achyuta Dasa, was a saint, a divine soul, an astrologer and was one of the pancha sakhas of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Jupiter is Kendra to both lagna and Chandra lagna, placed in Sagittarius forming a Hamsa Mahapurusha Yoga, conjunct the supreme benefic, his Atmakaraka Mercury and aspected by the Moon. Since the Moon and Jupiter are placed in kendras, the three points under reference, the lagna, Chandra lagna and Jupiter are extremely strong. His spirituality bordered on divinity, and he wrote many books which are treasure troves of divine knowledge and prophecy. The conjunction of Jupiter and Mercury in the 4th house shows his focus on knowledge, learning and writing. He was exceptionally knowledgeable, and before renunciation very wealthy too, and was married to a princess.
It is therefore observed, that when a well placed and a strong Jupiter is in a Kendra both to the lagna and the Chandra lagna, the Gajakeśarī yoga is very strong, and if this triangular yoga occurs in the kendras itself, the yoga is that much more powerful. Given below are two more examples of such a perfect Gajakeśarī which have granted the natives with undying fame and exceptional talent. Mozart is perhaps the most illustrious composer in the tradition of Western Classical Music, following Beethoven, and Leonardo da Vinci needs no introduction as not only an artist but as one of the celebrated personalities of the Renaissance. In Leonardo’s case, the Gajakeśarī is not complete as it is unaspected and not in conjunction with any benefics, but the mere placement of Jupiter and Moon in the kendras and such a strong and unafflicted Kendra sthanas has given him such a spectacular life.
Chart 5: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Chart 6: Leonardo da Vinci
Chart 7: Mahātma Gandhi
Chart 9: Emperor Aurangazeb